Michael joined the Department of Chemical Pathology after a postdoctoral and academic career focussed on aspects of molecular biology and molecular genetics. He undertook his postgraduate studies with Prof George Rogers in the Biochemistry Department of the University of Adelaide, examining molecular aspects of wool growth, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1992.
He continued this research for a short period before obtaining a C.J. Martin Postdoctoral Fellowship, which he used to commence his study of the molecular genetics of the vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster. This work was carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Ingham at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK, and focussed on the molecular analysis of cellular signalling during early development.
Michael returned to Australia in 1995 to take up a lectureship in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Tasmania in Hobart where he continued his studies of Drosophila melanogaster. This included a collaboration with Prof. Brandon Wainwright from the Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Queensland, in which he developed an assay system in Drosophila to determine the effect of mutations to the human gene PTCH on the function of the resultant protein. Mutations to PTCH are causative for the inherited disorder Nevoid Basal Cell Carcinoma Syndrome.
At the beginning of 1998 Dr. Fietz moved to the Department of Genetics at the University of Adelaide to continue his research into Drosophila melanogaster. He then joined the Department of Chemical Pathology at the Womens and Childrens Hospital in June 1999.
Paton, B.C., Solly, P.B., Nelson, P.V., Pollard, A.N., Sharp, P.C., and Fietz, M.J. (2002). Molecular analysis of genomic DNA allows rapid, and accurate, prenatal diagnosis of peroxisomal D-bifunctional protein deficiency. Prenat Diagn 22:38-41.
Whitfield, P.D., Nelson, P., Sharp, P.C., Bindloss, C.A., Dean, C., Ravenscroft, E.M., Fong, B.A., Fietz, M.J., Hopwood, J.J., and Meikle, P.J. (2002). Correlation among genotype, phenotype, and biochemical markers in Gaucher disease: implications for the prediction of disease severity. Mol Genet Metab 75:46-55.
Kelly, D.F., Boneh, A., Pitsch, S., Gold, H., Fietz, M., Nelson, P., and Oliver, M.R. (2001). Carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome 1b; a new answer to an old diagnostic dilemma. J Paediatr Child Health 37:510-512.
Evans, T., Poh, A., Webb, C., Wainwright, B., Wicking, C., Glass, I., Carey, W.F., and Fietz, M. (2001). Novel mutation in the D7-dehydrocholesterol reductase gene in an Australian patient with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome. Am J Med Genet 103:344-347.
Muller, V.J., Paton, B.C., and Fietz, M.J. (2001). An Australasian diagnostic service for the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. Europ J Paediatr Neurol 5(Suppl A):197-201.